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Subject: Re: [office-comment] Need more detailed definitions for formulas


David A. Wheeler wrote:
> Michael Brauer - Sun Germany - ham02 - Hamburg wrote:
>> David,
>> formulas contained within tables or text fields are rather complex. 
>> While it could be expected that where is a common set of functions and 
>> operations that all office applications support, the actual set that 
>> is implemented may and probably will vary from application to 
>> application, if not even from application version to application 
>> version. Moreover, most application support user defined functions 
>> that may be implemented using certain, application specific methods, 
>> and that actually may depend on the programming models of the 
>> applications.
>> In other words: Creating a specification for formulas contained in 
>> office documents seems to be a very large effort, and the TC 
>> considered this to be out of its scope, at least for the moment. 
>> Instead of this, the TC specified that formulas should start with a 
>> namespace prefix. The namespace that is associated with the namespace 
>> prefix uniquely identifies the syntax and semantics of a formula, so 
>> that a converersion of the formula becomes possible even if the 
>> formulas themselves are not described in the OASIS Open Office 
>> specification, but somewhere else.
> It sounds more like you're arguing FOR instead of AGAINST my statement.
> If formulas currently vary so much between applications and
> application versions that you can't be sure what they do, then
> obviously there is a NEED to create a specification for a useful subset
> that CAN be exchanged between applications and application versions.

What I said is not that it wouldn't be useful or even required to get a 
common standard for formulas within office application, but that this is 
outside the scope of this TC, at least for the moment. From the office 
file format view, formulas are some kind of programming model that is 
very similar to scripts, and even may make use of scripts. For these 
programming models, the Open Office TC can only establish methods to 
uniquely identify programmimng models (that's what the namespaces do), 
but cannot standardize the programming models themselves.

Best regards

Michael Brauer

OASIS Open Office TC chair

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